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Dreams poem by langston hughes meaning - Dream meaning

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Figurative Language: Dream Variations

At first glance, the poem, "Dream Variations" by Langston Hughes seems to be innocent and not intended to offend any audience. It was written during the Harlem Renaissance where direct arguments were not yet dominant in African American poetry. By choosing this poem to analyze figurative language, perhaps a deeper meaning can be found.

Literally summarizing this poem, the speaker wishes to be able to dance in the sunlight and rest under a Tree at night. The first metaphor encountered in this poem is in these lines, "To whirl and to dance / Till the white day is done" (3-4). The term "white" can be interpreted in many ways, especially since we are currently living in an era with much symbolism for the same words. One way to define this is to associate it with the word for a Caucasian person. It is widely known that Africans were enslaved by the “white man” for many generations. In this line, “white day” makes it seem like the “white man” dominates the day, which means that they controlled the activities of the slaves. The speaker yearns to freely dance until the white-dominated day is over. This could be a retaliation and bitterness against their bondage. “White” could also mean the color of the sunlight, when The sun is shining the brightest.

These lines indicate the desire of the speaker to be free and do as he pleases. One has to wonder, why can’t he do these things already and has to only dream about it? So this poem would be very effective in its meaning, even on the surface level of analysis. The phrase, “Dark like me” emphasizes that the speaker is not in the same level as others, that he/she is of dark ethnicity, and that helps the reader to understand why the speaker dreams of such carefree activities. Without explicit language, this poem can still effectively communicate its underlying message if the reader already has those experiences without outright bashing of oppressors.

Status: Graded on December 3, 2007 11:30 PM (Attempt #1)





Dreams poem by langston hughes meaning Dream meaning
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